Weekly Meanderings

Weekly Meanderings August 29, 2009

Misty.jpgThe Origins Project update: Festival in July 2010 and our Listening Tour.

The lesson here is that you’ve got to make your order very clear before you get in the chair.
Regentbookstore.jpgThe lesson here is don’t believe in that view of the rapture.
The lesson here — no guessing — is “don’t buy.”
The lesson here is that we are all subjective.
The lesson here is — ask first.

Bookstores — are they passing away? John Stackhouse’s post... worth your read.

Dave Dunbar’s newest piece on missional theology. iMonk on “gospel centered.” Tom Smith and the gospel-shaped book of Acts at work in South Africa.

Tony Jones: the slippery sloped doesn’t exist.

How to gain wisdom?
How to gain insight?
How to gain understanding?

1. I like the ideas of removing clunkers from the road; I like the idea of putting more eco-friendly cars on the road. The Cash for Clunkers stimulus comes to an end.
2. SanFranciscoCare: Is this closer to the model being discussed in DC?
3. John Mark Reynolds blogs at The Washington Post about health care but, beginning well, he gets lost (as a historian of ideas) on liberty and freedom and needs to show how liberty and compassion can be tied together in a Federal or local context with biblical emphases. I prefer the focus in Leith Anderson‘s piece. Why do so few investigate the civil laws of ancient Israel?
4. Ron Rosenbaum on Obama’s goal of Zero nuclear weapons: “I should note first, of course, that I don’t know whether Obama’s Zero

will ever be possible or practical or even morally desirable. Will the
absence of nuclear deterrence increase the death toll from conventional
wars? It’s certainly hard to imagine the moment–which even Obama said
might not happen “in my lifetime”–when the last nuke on earth is handed
over for destruction. I tend to find myself in agreement with a line I
believe I read on the highly informative Armscontrolwonk.com blog: The hardest part of arms reduction will be not getting down to zero but getting down to 10.”
5. I generally don’t like media coverage of media, but this piece explains what I was daily experiencing: the media exposed the facts and the truth about the “death panels” but many chose not to listen.
6. That is an odd ruling.
7. Old people talking about the internet. Funny stuff here.
8. Facebook and baby pictures.
9. Calley Confession and Karen’s beautiful and moving response.


Usain Bolt: “I want to be a legend.” Mr Bolt, you already are.

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  • Uh, Scot: Check the link you’ve attached to the photo of Regent College (and its fine bookstore) you’ve thoughtfully included.

  • Scot McKnight

    John, I see … the link in the picture. Now I have to admit something. I meant to link to that article — which is very funny — but I have no idea how a link gets connected to a picture, …. so I’ll work on it.

  • Wow. That Tony Jones thing was one of the biggest slices of Swiss cheese logic that I’ve seen in a while. (Even if I accepted his premise, it’s a bit scary.)

  • If Jones is implying that the linchpin argument against approving of gay marriage in church is a slippery slope argument then he is being unfair.
    About slippery slopes – My belief is that where there is a valid slippery slope argument there is a better argument. Jones is correct that everything could be a slippery slope to something. However, there are such things as actions and consequences. Simple example: I watched a youth leader once stop a student from throwing a snowball. He knew the boys she was about hit and knew that it was not a good time for the all-out war that would ensue. The girl was just thinking it would be fun to ping a guy with a snowball but the leader know it would result in mayhem, quickly.Sometimes wisdom tells us that one thing will in fact very likely lead to another and we should steer in a different direction. Slippery slopes are easily abused but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  • Scot said: “Why do so few investigate the civil laws of ancient Israel?”
    So when’s the series of blog posts coming out?
    Anyway, I’m trying to do just what you suggested. Not getting anything much so far.

  • rebeccat

    I was rather upset over the cash for clunkers program. A person driving an actual clunker wouldn’t be able to afford and get financing on a brand new car – even with the government subsidy. We just gave billions of dollars to solidly middle and upper middle class people to trade in what may well have been a spare car for fancy new cars. Not to mention that they’d probably have to drive the cars for 30 years in order for the gains in fuel efficiency to begin to offset the energy and materials used to manufacture and transport a new car. I wish that Americans had the integrity to turn away from this terrible waste of other people’s money, but apparently, the lure for those who could afford it of getting a shiny new car with help from the government was just too much to resist. Sigh.

  • BenB

    While I understand that frustration, I think we have to recognize a couple of things before getting so worked up. The first is that not many things in this stimulus package have worked out and there is a lot of pork spending. So first, I am just happy that SOMETHING worked, and worked like a charm.
    Likewise, how many cars salesman are not in that middle to upper class? How many factory workers making cars are not in that middle to upper class? Yes, they might not have been able to afford to utilize the cash for clunkers deal and maybe some other more wealthy people are and that stinks.
    However, the point of this bill was not to help people get new cars. At all. The idea was to get people with money to put that money into the car industry which helps employ factory workers, car salesman, sales managers, parts company salesman, car and part designers, etc. It’s getting money pumped into the system to get things running so that the middle and lower class people can keep their jobs and maybe even get hired back.
    The cash for clunkers program did that, extremely well. In fact it’s about the only thing which has worked that well so far.

  • 2 Things:
    Scot said: “Why do so few investigate the civil laws of ancient Israel?”
    I actually made that arguement with a (very) conservative friend of mine, who when we were discussing the healthcare debate, likened raising taxes in order to ensure all people have access to healthcare as ‘stealing people’s money,’ I pointed out that under Israel’s government, people had mandatory tithes and that those tithes were used to help the needy (widows, fatherless, and foreigners).
    Now, I know we’re not Israel, but I had to ask him… Did God institute stealing from the rich to give to the poor? 🙂
    #2. Cash for clunkers. BenB hit the nail on the head. The program was not intended to help people buy cars. It was intended to help the (failing) auto industry — the dealers, the manufacturers, and the workers. I think it succeeded in that. It’s secondary cause was to get old cars off the road — and I don’t think it was just issues of fuel efficiency (although that was the criteria used). My dad (who is middle class) used the program to get rid of his 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee and got a new Corolla instead.

  • ChrisB

    Those tithes that went to the poor on certain years didn’t pass through the hands of the king. If you didn’t pay up, you didn’t go to jail — it was between you and God. So it’s not the same.
    And those poor were expected to try to support themselves as they could (see “gleaning”) as opposed to just sitting around waiting for the king to give them some food.
    Even if your interpretation were true, that doesn’t mean a statist solution is the right one for our health care mess.